Fathers & Families Coalition of Utah is proud to announce our very own Ms. Veronica Bustillos (or Miss V as many of us know her) was nominated for Ms. Mexico by her students and crowned Ms. Mexico 2018/2019!
Veronica is our Jobs Work Program Coordinator at our Murray High School location, and we are ecstatic to have had the privilege to get to know her more:
Veronica Bustillos was born in Juarez, Mexico and came to the United States as a young child. She loves to visit her family in Mexico, that she was recently able to find in 2018, and the unity and love of family that comes with her Mexican culture. This love was also given to her by her adoptive mother, who Veronica admires greatly for raising 3 kids of her own and adopting 4, while owning and managing her own flower business. “She is also a dancer, yes I did say dancer,” she laughs as she continues, “my mom dances at half time basketball and football games. She has danced for the NFL and college sports. She is 78 years old, funny, and has never let life beat her up. She still serves others. I love her giving heart and her service to her family.” We can see where Veronica gets her great sense of fun from!
In her spare time, Veronica likes to rock climb, dance, and travel. She loves Lord of the Rings and action movies, and listening to any type of Latino music or Michael Jackson. Although, nowadays her ideal way to spend a weekend is watching a movie with her children in her bed, or in the family room with sleeping bags, and eating junk food. Her inspiration comes from her daughter, who she says is an old spirit that judges no one and spews love, peace, kindness and open-mindedness. I think it’s safe to say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
I asked Veronica what is special about the place she grew up, and the place she lives now, and she told me she still feels a sense of belonging when she is in Mexico, she expressed that although a lot of bad things happened to her there, she still feels accepted and doesn’t feel the pressures of life. The beach has stuck with Veronica throughout her life and is still one the most relaxing places she has ever been. As she seemed to get lost in thought she spoke about how she loves how the beach relaxes her and makes her feel, “…it purges my negative feelings, I feel love, close to God, and at peace with my life.” she said. Veronica stated that she loves living in Utah, but unfortunately the last 4 years have been extremely hard, and that just this past year she has felt more accepted. She found a great job, her students love her, and has her family around again.
Veronica believes that her rough upbringing is what made her who she is today. “I had a choice to either play the victim role and continue to be victimized, live my life with negative people and never grow. Or, I had another choice, to say ‘This is what happened to me, and these are the things I did to change my circumstances.” So she did just that, she changed her attitude and surrounded herself with people that were her confidants, “gave all the ugliness to God”, forgave those that hurt her and then “excused them out of the next chapter of her book”.
It was also then that Veronica decided to do the work she does now, “Because when I was a youth, I felt I had no support system. My adopted family, although good to me, didn’t know how to help me when I was missing my blood family. I had trauma, and everyone labeled me “as a bad kid.” I told myself that ‘when I grow up’ I will be a support to those that need it. I will help them find themselves so they can go and pay it forward! I will love without judgement and be a powerful influence to those that want to be empowered.” As Ms. Mexico, Veronica hopes to do just that, empower those that think they have lost their power.
Veronica’s advice to her readers is: Trust in God and once you start to see the changes, don’t go back to the old way of doing things. It’s hard to do, especially when society tells you to trust in the world.
If you ever have a chance meet Veronica or see her walking down the hallway, a simple “Hi Ms. V” or a smile her way, is a great way to make her day better!
*Note: Ms. V will also be up for the Ms. World Premier role this summer! Help us wish her luck!